The start of the color era of Doctor Who was shorter than most seasons we’d seen before, as far as the number of stories goes. Like any Doctor, Pertwee would have his shares of highs and lows. Luckily, for his first, it was gifted with two super-strong episodes. And Roger and I seem to be in agreement with most of it!
RP: 8 – The Autons are probably the second most scary monsters ever in Doctor Who, after the Cybermen. However, the Doctor takes ages to come to the party and then he solves things by building a gadget.
ML: 9 – Solid story, great regeneration opening, the start of the Unit era properly and a companion who has a brain. Plus a strong enemy and a story that does not drag at all. Almost the strongest of the season.
RP: 8 – A completely fascinating story, and another that everyone misunderstands, mainly because of Barry Letts’s tacked on ending (because he didn’t understand the story either).
ML: 7 – Brilliant piece of science fiction writing marred only by the over-long plot that seems to go on forever. Like the Doctor, I would have been happier if they had a peaceful resolution; the story seems to just wrap up suddenly.
RP: 6 – Everything the Doctor gets wrong in the Silurians he gets right here, so it’s a fascinating juxtaposition of stories, although the Doctor’s characterisation is mostly awful and the story drags badly.
ML: 4 – Believable drama, good story… super slow. The Doctor is far from Sherlock Holmes walking into rooms without even looking around. Liz starts to become the caricature screaming girl. Actually recovers a point for an interesting alien.
RP: 10 – A story about how fundamental differences in the lives of humans in two parallel universes lead to the destruction of one and the survival of another. Sublime.
ML: 10 – absolute classic. Possibly the best of Pertwee’s entire run. Truly disconcerting. Great villain and a great alternate universe story. The Brigade Leader is magnificent. (Of course he is… it’s Nick Courtney, after all!)
A solid start to the Third Doctor’s era. Two exceptional episodes, one slightly above average and one below average. Not terrible by any means! We’ll see how the next few seasons hold up. More next week! ML